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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Ford Says Its Hot Hatches Are Ideal For Living A "Swiss Army Life"

While hot hatchbacks, or sporty small and compact cars with unusually powerful engines, were once directed mostly at true petrolheads, Ford says models like the Focus RS, ST and Fiesta ST are becoming a lot more mainstream.

Ford's EU hot hatch sales have received a major boost during the first three-quarters of 2016, with more than 22,200 units of the previously mentioned three models finding new owners. In fact, orders for the Focus RS alone have reached more than 9,100 since launch.

According to the American automaker, the reason for this shift is perception is that customers are starting to rank equipment levels and compact proportions as key purchase decisions, while still appreciating powerful engines and an overall exciting driving experience.

Ford also points to new sales data demonstrating how the average age of hot hatch customers has gone from around 38 years old in 2010 to 42 years old in 2016. Also, 8% more women bought hot hatchbacks last year, compared to 2010.

The brand's global consumer trends manager, Sheryl Connelly, calls this new trend the "Swiss Army Life".

"The Swiss Army Life is all about self-reliance. In response to the trend, consumers are increasingly drawn to products that deliver in terms of versatility, adaptability and utility," said Connelly. "Perhaps this is even truer for Millennials who seem to be pioneering new paths and are careful to invest in products that can support them through many different lifestyles and life stages."

Currently, buying into Ford's hot hatchback range means driving a car that's got anywhere from 182 PS to 350 PS. The Fiesta ST is available as a three-door and five-door model, and is the one packing the 182 PS 1.6-liter EcoBoost petrol engine. Customers can also go for the new 200 PS Fiesta ST200, though that's available in three-door bodystyle only. The Focus ST on the other hand is offered with 250 PS EcoBoost petrol or 185 PS TDCi diesel engines, in five-door hatchback or wagon bodystyles.

Finally, the flagship Focus RS features a 350 PS 2.3-liter EcoBoost petrol unit, all-wheel drive and selectable drive modes.


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